3 Key Medical Staff Services Initiatives for Overcoming Change in 2018

3 Key Medical Staff Services Initiatives for Overcoming Change in 2018
Senior Director of Marketing

As healthcare organizations focus more on value-based care rather than volume-based and also deal with other strategic issues, the role of medical services professionals (MSPs) is changing. Once seen as an administrative role, MSPs are increasingly asked to provide strategy and value — and that can be a challenge.

“The industry went from administrative assistants for record-keeping for credentialing and privileging, to managing a medical staff office, to now heading CPOs of integrated systems,” says Dr. Jonathan Burroughs, President and CEO of Burroughs Healthcare Consulting Network, which provides training and consulting services for healthcare organizations. “They’re responsible for peer review and quality within the system, but also need to be executives at the VP level.”

To meet this rapid change, here are three initiatives medical staff services departments need to prioritize during the coming year.

1. Playing a Strategic Role

MSPs are seen increasingly as leaders within the organization, Burroughs says, and they need to continue their education and enhance their experience to understand and participate in executive management.

“I used to never recommend getting an M.B.A. for medical staff service professionals, but now I do,” Burroughs says. “The days of not having to know finance, operations, financial planning and strategic thinking is over for the industry.” Doing so will help them understand and collaborate with other executive management to build strategy for the organization.

2. Adding Value to the Organization

As the industry moves to putting its emphasis on value rather than volume, MSPs will also need to shift focus. Justifying costs and boosting efficiency will become increasingly important, and departments will continue to play an important role in ensuring patients get the best care from qualified practitioners.

“Medical staff services professionals can’t just say ‘I’m understaffed,’ ” Burroughs says. “You have to be able to go to people and say ‘This is in your self-interest to provide more staff because we could make this much more in revenue.’ ” Look for opportunities to make a case for value across the work you do, whether it’s finding the most qualified providers or adding staff.

3. Focusing on Processes

According to the National Association Medical Staff Services (NAMSS), advances in technology and an increased focus on standardization and consolidation have changed the way MSPs work. While in many cases advances have resulted in increased efficiencies, new regulations and mergers will continue to challenge MSPs as they serve their organizations.

“Any fully functioning department needs an architect to build an effective, efficient, sustainable structure, so that it doesn’t fall down like a house of cards when you start piling other things on,” writes Sally Pelletier, Advisory Consultant and Chief Credentialing Officer with The Greeley Co., a healthcare consulting and staffing company, in her white paper “Rearchitecting the Medical Staff Services Department.”

These changes represent opportunity for medical staff services leaders and departments. In fact, NAMSS addressed the need to embrace change in their 2017 conference theme: “New Heights and New Horizons.” By reviewing the way they work, embracing technology and committing to a strategic role within the organization, MSPs will be able to meet the challenges of the coming year and beyond.

What are your top medical staff services initiatives for 2018@f16 Please share your thoughts in the comments section below.

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